From the beginning, CIA Designs were excited to be involved in the first of our 3 projects with Whitbread Insurance. The move was a major shift and opportunity for Whitbread as they were relocating from their foundation office on St Kilda road where the company began over 35 years ago. The shift in space and location was exciting and had created a buzz around the office. The design was to strengthen the already strong sense of family and belonging amongst the Whitbread organisation. At the helm and driving the design were the 3 Whitbread Siblings and Directors who took great time, care and pride in the development of the design and eventual outcome.
The project was spread over 2 levels. The main level was the staff floor and arrival point. This was to become the heart of the company and their working floor. From here, a spiral staircase linked the main floor to the upper floor where the combined client facing and staff breakout/chillout and relaxation space. A cornerstone of this level was the inclusion of the “Breathe” room which gives staff an opportunity to escape for a while, meditate or just chill and gather thoughts. A subtle yet important design feature is in the film which runs the expanse of the frameless glass to the connected meeting zones on the upper level. The design team engaged an external photographer who captured the essence of their original beginnings, St. Kilda road. From the trams to the shrine of remembrance the subtle design features are a talking point and forever reminder of where the company began. Feng Shui design was also a key design element which was integrated and implemented by CIA Designs late Practitioner Lyn White. The fish tank, strategically placed to generate prosperity is a key feature visible from both within the boardroom and upon arrival.
The design of Whitbread’s offices has been embraced across Australia and translated by CIA Designs into their office locations in Sydney and Melbourne.